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Meteors, Asteroids and Comets
These tiny particles, from carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, are just a few millionths of a meter wide and have different proportions of nitrogen (N) and hydrogen (H and D) isotopes. These isotopes are chemically bonded to meteoritic organic matter and can reveal a lot about what happened to the meteorite as it made its way through the solar system over billions of years. The two images show the regions with high levels of 15N and heavy hydrogen (deuterium or D)–ā€¯indications that the associated carbon is very old and originated from interstellar matter or the outer regions of the solar system. (Image courtesy Henner Busemann; click image for high-resolution version.) Credit: Carnegie Institution
01/14/09

 



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